Advertising has been known to push the boundaries of conventional thinking time and again, often running into controversies. A new advertisement (above) by diaper-maker Pampers promoting their new line of diapers for premature babies, Preemie Protection Size P3, has appeared to upset many viewers who found the content insensitive.
The emotionally-charged campaign film by Saatchi & Saatchi UK, titled Little Fighters, follows the journey of nine families at Southampton General Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, as their premature babies face real struggles to make it home. It is set to the soundtrack of I’m Coming Home by Chanele McGuinness. “I know my kingdom awaits, and no matter what it takes, I’m coming home,” McGuinness sings softly. Pampers’ message reads: “Every day is a fight when you arrive early and we’re proud to be in your corner.”
But some premature babies never make it home. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints from more than 60 viewers, the majority of whom were grieving parents of premature babies. “I think this advert is highly insensitive. The music I’m coming home shows absolutely no sensitivity to those babies that did not make it home,” one woman wrote. Adele, from Manchester, said the advertisement takes her right back to the “hell” she went through: “Being forced to go back to the point in your life is indescribably distressing. We are still grieving. I shouldn’t have to worry about what’s going to come up on my TV.”
In response, Pampers has modified the advertisement by removing the lyrics from the song and highlighted their partnership with Bliss, a charity which provides care and support for premature and sick babies and their families.